Armenian Re-Independence: A Celebration Marked by Hope for a Brighter Future

By Khajag Mgrdichian

Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern Region Central Committee member Unger Khajag Mgrdichian delivered the following speech at the Armenian Independence Day Celebration on Sept. 12. The event, which was held at the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, in Watertown, Mass., featured renowned singer Harout Pamboukjian.


Dear Compatriots,

Khajag Mgrdichian (Photo: by Sarah Aghjayan)
Khajag Mgrdichian (Photo: by Sarah Aghjayan)

The celebration of the re-independence of Armenia that has brought us together today can be summed up in three words: pride, concern, and hope.

We all have a number of reasons for which to be proud today, since our fathers and grandfathers were the ones who safeguarded the idea of independence for 70 long years and were finally able to witness it come to realization.

We all have a reason to be proud, since we were able to pass on the tricolor and coat of arms—which represented our statehood, but was rejected by some—back to the newly independent state.

We all have a reason to be proud, since our people were able to stand as one, not only to reclaim their homeland, but to also to volunteer their efforts in the struggle to rightfully regain Artsakh.

We all have a reason to be proud, because as a diaspora without a homeland, we were not only able to politically, economically, and morally do our part in realizing independence, but because the new generation of Armenian youth like Mher Choulhajian and Viken Zakarian, who had grown up with the ideals and principles of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, responded to the cries of our historic lands and made the ultimate sacrifice.

However, while many points of pride exist, there are also many points today that are a cause for concern for us all.

We must be concerned when our enemies, who have not yet reconciled with historical truth, continue to maliciously violate the ceasefire and kill innocent Armenians every day.

We must be concerned when 24 years after independence, our county has not been able to be reborn into that coveted homeland, which can claim ownership of its people living in Armenia and in the diaspora.

We must be concerned when our country is overrun by impunity and injustice; when a few people are given the right to steal from and deprive our people and our homeland.

It is very concerning that our country has not been able to become the beacon of hope as a haven for repatriation for the exiled Armenian people; that depopulation has climbed at a terrifying rate and has become a real threat to our national security.

Instead of driving us to hopelessness and futility, though, all of this should lead us to a struggle of correction and of rectification, since even the darkest night sky has its hope-bearing rays of light.

We have hope for a brighter future—quite rightfully so—when we bear witness to the volunteer units of the past being replaced by a legitimate army of soldiers willing to die while protecting our country’s borders.

We have hope for a brighter future when we see the new generation of Armenian youth, who may not have a world of experience, but are ready to think differently, to stand up for their rights and for what they believe in, and have sworn never to leave their country.

We have hope for a more fair and just system of governance when it is possible to put an end to regimes that have a monopoly on power and grant political immunity to oligarchs, through constitutional changes.

We have hope for a brighter future when we see the fervency and determination of the Armenian youth of the diaspora who continue to remember and demand justice, who continue the work of the Armenian National Committees, and who continue to work towards the recognition of Artsakh and the development of Armenia.

While we remain proud and concerned, we are also hopeful that our free and independent Armenia will one day become that solid pedestal upon which a united, complete Armenia will be built.


Mgrdichian’s remarks were delivered in Armenian; Rupen Janbazian translated the text into English for the Armenian Weekly.

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